Former Michigan State Receiver Derrick Mason Retires After 15 Seasons in NFL

Seth NewmanCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

Derrick Mason had announced retirement from the NFL on Monday.

The former Michigan State Spartan leaves behind a storied career where he played eight seasons with the Tennessee Titans and six seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. This year Mason played for both the New York Jets and Houston Texans.

Mason was drafted in 1997 in the fourth round as the 98th overall by the Houston Oilers, who later became the Tennessee Titans. In eight seasons with the Titans, Mason had four seasons of over a 1,000 yards receiving, caught 37 touchdowns and caught well over 60 balls in five different seasons.

The Detroit native then moved onto Baltimore where he became the franchise’s all-time leading receiver. In six seasons with the Ravens, Mason caught over 60 passes each season, went over a 1,000 yards receiving four times and caught 29 touchdowns. Mason was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was selected to two All-Pro teams during his career.

“I’m done,” Mason told “I won’t be playing football. I leave it healthy and able to run and walk and not take a half-hour or 45 minutes to get out of bed. Me leaving now, even though it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, I had a good run.”

While at Michigan State, Mason was known for his kickoff returning ability, totaling a team-record 2,384 kickoff return yards. He was relied upon as a receiver too, catching eight touchdowns.

Mason leaves the NFL with 943 receptions, putting him 11th on the all-time receiver list. In the NFL, Mason played in 230 games, had 12,061 yards receiving and 69 touchdowns.

The former Spartan turns 38 next week and plans on pursuing a career in broadcasting.